Many people start the new year with good intentions to accomplish certain goals, only to then set their goals aside when life gets busy.
Changing behaviors is hard work! It takes a lot of time and effort because habits – whether healthy or not so healthy - are automatic and natural. It's like trying to sign your name with your other hand--it doesn’t look very good and it takes a lot of concentration.
If you struggled with accomplishing your goals in 2019, consider these tips to help you get started on making your plan for a healthier 2020:
- Set realistic and flexible goals. If you want to run a marathon you aren't going to do it the first day. Make a daily plan of how you will get there. If something takes you off track in your training like an injury or family demands, adjust your plan. It may take longer to get to your finish line, but you will still get there.
- Write down your goals, track your progress and congratulate yourself for each accomplishment – big or small. Seeing progress in your fitness level or in losing weight can be so motivating to continue. But if you don't celebrate every pound lost or mile run until you reach your goal it will be easy to get discouraged.
- Expect bumps along the way. It doesn't mean you're "failing" if you are struggling, it may just mean you need to adjust your plan or ask for more support.
- Believe in yourself and know who your support system is. An exercise buddy or support person to encourage you can make a big difference in your motivation and progress.
- Make your goals a priority. There isn't a "perfect" time to change your behaviors. Life can be busy and no two days are generally the same. Prioritize time to grocery shop, plan meals or get exercise. As time goes on, it won’t take so much planning because it will be a natural part of your day.
- Make sure that you see the value in changing your behaviors. Your family or employer may ask you to change, but if you also see the importance or need to make the change it will much easier for you to invest your time and energy.
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